by Matthew Franco
This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.
Affirmative action is on trial. Its court date is set for October 2022, and the decision will be released sometime in 2023. Given the Supreme Court’s current composition — six justices appointed by a Republican president and three by a Democratic one — it’s likely that affirmative action will be struck down.
Republicans believe in limited government interference, so affirmative action tends to step on their toes. The Supreme Court last ruled on an affirmative action case in 2016, in Fisher v. University of Texas. The vote was a close 4-3 in support of affirmative action, with three Republican-associated justices in dissent.
Those same three justices still sit on the court. Only two current justices are likely to vote in support of affirmative action, given that newly confirmed Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson will recuse herself from the case. The other three Trump-appointed justices are considered textualists: They don’t like taking anything beyond the ordinary interpretation of a law into consideration.
While their opinion on affirmative action is unknown, we’re likely to see the same disapproving views as those expressed by their Republican counterparts in Congress. If you do the math, that’s six votes slamming the lid shut on 50 years of precedent.
What happens if affirmative action gets struck down? There are three main alternatives.
Read the rest of the story at Washington Square News.